licorice

noun lic·o·rice \ ˈli-k(ə-)rish , -k(ə-)rəs \
Updated on: 14 Nov 2017

Definition of licorice

1 a : the dried root of a European leguminous plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) with pinnate leaves and spikes of blue flowers; also : an extract of this used especially in medicine, liquors, and confectionery
b : a candy flavored with licorice or a substitute (such as anise)
2 : a plant yielding licorice; also : a related plant

Recent Examples of licorice from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'licorice.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of licorice

Middle English licorice, from Anglo-French licoris, from Late Latin liquiritia, alteration of Latin glycyrrhiza, from Greek glykyrrhiza, from glykys sweet + rhiza root — more at dulcet, root


LICORICE Defined for English Language Learners

licorice

noun

Definition of licorice for English Language Learners

  • : a candy made from the dried root of a European plant


LICORICE Defined for Kids

licorice

noun lic·o·rice \ ˈli-kə-rish , -rəs \

Definition of licorice for Students

1 : the dried root of a European plant or a juice from it used in medicine and in candy
2 : candy flavored with licorice

Medical Dictionary

licorice

noun lic·o·rice
variants: or chiefly British liquorice play \ˈlik(-ə)-rish, -rəs\

medical Definition of licorice

1 : a European leguminous plant of the genus Glycyrrhiza (G. glabra) with pinnate leaves and spikes of blue flowers
2 a : glycyrrhiza 2
b : an extract of glycyrrhiza commonly prepared in the form of a gummy or rubbery paste


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up licorice? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

food, provisions, or a tasty dish

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!